If you've had the chance to see my original "Legume" recipe, you learned that legume is made with a variety of vegetables and meats. You would have also noticed that it was a significantly large portion that can feed several people. As promised, I devised a much smaller portion of legume, especially for those individuals who have never had legume and is curious to try it out for the first time. Although it is a smaller portion, the preparation time is nearly the same.
This particular variation is with beef and shrimp. One vegetable in contrast to the previous recipe is the addition of cabbage. No two legume dishes are ever really the same but it's their uniqueness that makes them so great and delicious. I hope you give this one a try and let me know what you think!
1 lb. Beef Stew or Chuck Roast
1 cup Shrimp (thawed, peeled, deveined)
3 Chayotes (Militon)
1 large Eggplant
2 Garlic cloves
1 tbsp. Sour Orange juice
1 tbsp. Epis
2 tbsps. Tomato Paste
¼ tsp. Seasoned Salt
¼ tsp. Goya Adobo
2 tbsps. Butter
1 Maggie Chicken Bouillon Cube, crushed
1 tbsp. Vegetable Oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1. If using chuck roast instead of beef stew, cut it into approximately 1 ½ inch chunks. Clean the meat according the “Cleaning Meat” page. In a bowl, combine the meat with the following: 1 tbsp. of sour orange juice, ¼ tsp. seasoned salt, ¼ tsp. Adobo, 1/3 of a crushed Maggie cube, and 1 tbsp. epis. Mix contents thoroughly and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight. As always, the longer it marinates, the better.
2. Peel an eggplant and cut them into large chunks. Try to remove as much of the seeds as possible. Eggplant seeds are edible and soft when cooked so don’t worry about excessively removing all of them. I sometimes go the lazy way out and keep some in although traditionally they’re supposed to be removed. Set the eggplant aside.
3. Cut the ends off of a carrot, peel and rinse it. Cut the carrot in half and set it aside.
4. Place 3 chayotes in a bowl with cool water. It is very important that you peel these under water in the bowl. Or at least under running water. These leave behind a weird sticky film on your hands that is difficult to remove if you peel them with your hands dry. Trust me, I’ve learned this the hard way. After peeling the skin, cut them in half lengthwise revealing its core. Scoop out the core and discard. If the chayote happens to have brownish specs all throughout the inside, throw it away as it is no longer good. When it cooks down, those brownish specs remain hard and never soften. It’ll be like biting into little pebbles. So be on the lookout for those. I’ve also learned that the hard way… After removing the core, cut the halves into half once more, then into smaller chunks. Set the chayotes aside.
5. Chop up 2 – 2 ½ cups worth of cabbage. Rinse thoroughly and set aside.
6. Use 1 bunch spinach or at least a 10 oz. package. If using a fresh bunch, cut off the stems and thoroughly rinse the leaves. Set spinach aside.
7. In a large pot placed on high heat, add 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil and the marinated meat. Add about 1 cup of water to the bowl that had the meat in to gather up any residual marinade. Pour the water into the pot. Cover the pot and allow it to come to a boil to cook. Usually, we wouldn't add water at the beginning because the meat will render a lot of its own juices. Since we're dealing with a much smaller portion of meat, it will dry up too quickly and so it is important to add water at the beginning. Let it cook for about 10 – 20 minutes, until the water has dried.
8. In a separate pot, add 1 ½ cups of water and half of what's left of the remaining Maggie cube, crushed. This will help serve as a flavored broth for the vegetables to boil in and pick up some flavor, especially since we are boiling them separately in this version. To this, add the chayotes, eggplant, cabbage, carrots, and spinach. Turn heat to medium and let it cook down for about 30 minutes. You can stir about halfway through but take care not to crush the carrots. If at any point the liquid seems to be getting dry, you can add a little water at a time. However, there should be no need to add any additional water because the vegetables will release some of their water content as they cook down.
9. Returning to the meat, after the water has dried, sauté it in the oil left behind for about 3 – 5 minutes for it to darken and develop some color. Add another cup of water and let it cook covered until it dries up for a second time. Continue this same process until meat has become tender but doesn’t break apart easily. The total cooking time for the beef is usually about 45 min, roughly.
10. When the vegetables have cooked down, about 30 minutes, mix everything together except for the carrots. Use this opportunity to check if the vegetables have fully softened, especially the chayote. Once all the vegetables have cooked down, remove the 2 carrot pieces from the pot and set them aside. Allow some of the liquid to evaporate but do not let it dry up! Turn the heat off once it’s fully soft.
11. Cut the carrots and set aside. Dice 1 onion and 2 garlic cloves and set those aside as well.
12. Using a potato masher, smash down the vegetables in the pot.
13. Scoop or pour the mashed vegetables into a fine mesh strainer to remove any excess liquid. Reserve this liquid. If a majority of the liquid has dried you can bypass straining it. The liquid will be used anyway based on how dry the legume mixture is in the next few steps. Set the mashed vegetables aside.
14. When the meat has cooked, bring the heat down to medium and add 2 tbsps. of tomato paste, stir and sauté for about 2 – 3 minutes. Add in the diced onion and minced garlic cloves. Stir and saute for an additional 2 – 3 minutes or until the onions have become translucent.
15. To the pot, add in the mashed vegetables and mix the contents thoroughly while the heat remains on medium. If it seems to dry as it cooks, pour in some of the reserved liquid. Add in the sliced carrots and also mix thoroughly. Sample the legume and salt to taste if needed. You can also add in some of the remaining crushed Maggie cube that was left over based on personal preference for flavor when sampled.
16. Meanwhile, as legume cooks, bring 1 tbsp. of oil to high heat in a frying pan. Once it reaches temperature, add in 1 cup of thawed shrimp. Be careful as it may splatter. Sprinkle a dash of salt and pepper and cook shrimp for about 2 – 3 minutes, just until no longer translucent. If the shrimp size is larger, it may take a little more time to cook.
17. Add cooked shrimp to the legume and mix thoroughly. Top it off with 2 tbsps. of butter and mix well to fully melt and incorporate.
Serves 4 - 6
What do you think of this recipe? What kinds of meats/vegetables do you like in your legume?
Let me know and comment below!
Let me know and comment below!